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Degradation pathways of low-ethoxylated nonylphenols by isolated bacteria using an improved method.

Environmental science and pollution research international (2013-08-15)
Yu Zhang, Xin Gu, Jing Zhang, Min Yang
ABSTRACT

Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEOs) with low ethoxylation degree (NPav₂EO; containing two ethoxy units on average) and estrogenic properties are the intermediate products of nonionic surfactant NPEOs. To better understand the environmental fate of low-ethoxylated NPEOs, phylogenetically diverse low-ethoxylated NPEO-degrading bacteria were isolated from activated sludge using gellan gum as the gelling reagent. Four isolates belonging to four genera, i.e., Pseudomonas sp. NP522b in γ-Proteobacteria, Variovorax sp. NP427b and Ralstonia sp. NP47a in β-Proteobacteria, and Sphingomonas sp. NP42a in α-Proteobacteria were acquired. Ralstonia sp. NP47a or Sphingomonas sp. NP42a, have not been reported for the degradation of low-ethoxylated NPEOs previously. The biotransformation pathways of these isolates were investigated. The first three strains (NP522b, NP427b, and NP47a) exhibited high NPav₂EO oxidation ability by oxidizing the polyethoxy (EO) chain to form low-ethoxylated nonylphenoxy carboxylates, and then further oxidizing the alkyl chain to form carboxyalkylphenol polyethoxycarboxylates. Furthermore, Sphingomonas sp. NP42a degraded NPav2EO through a nonoxidative pathway with nonylphenol monoethoxylate as the dominant product.

MATERIALS
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